Yesterday was one of my favorite shows of the year, the National Standardbred Show. Even though I do not have a Standardbred I am very involved with the breed and have many close friends that own Standardbreds. As you all know, JB, who I have been showing and often write about is a Standardbred. They are an extremely versatile, talented, and quite underestimated breed. The National show really brings the Standardbred community together and shows what the breed can do.
They have every discipline covered from hunters and western to driving and dressage. Horses and riders from all aspects of the Standardbred world came out, including hall of fame racehorse Gallo Blue Chip. There were several horses still racing that competed, as well as, several big money winners pursuing second careers.
I showed the ever handsome JB in Showmanship, where we placed 5th, as well as, Geldings In Hand, where we placed 2nd to a very good looking gelding from Ohio who went on to win the National In Hand Championship. We had several members of SPHO Ohio join us this year for the National and they were a very nice group of people with some very talented horses. The girl who showed the winning gelding in hand came over to me after both of our classes to congratulate me on my placings and comment on JB's good looks (and she was not the only one to do so). I look forward to competing against them again next year. JB and I also managed to sneak into the command class where we took 5th.
I spent the rest of the day fulfilling my other horse show role: show mommy / photographer. My show mom duties usually pertain to JB's owner H, but at this show I have so many friends showing I have to stretch myself out a bit. H and JB are still my main focus, but I try to lend a hand to whoever else needs it, like my good friend L, who is my lesson partner.
Anyway, H and JB had a fabulous show. They competed in driving, equitation, and english pleasure. They won every class they entered except one, in which they received third. They were also supposed to compete in jumpers, which unfortunately was canceled due to a storm. The National tends to end every year with a storm, but at least we got the entire show in, except jumpers, before then.
JB also carried two other riders at the National. He carried a young girl in leadline. He also was the mount of Alex Brown, author of the book about the famous Barbaro, in the ride-a-buck class. It was Alex's first ride on a STB and they brought home the blue ribbon.
The other great thing about the National is getting to see old friends that you don't get to see regularly. Friends from Maine and Vermont traveled to the Horse Park for the National. We did miss our Kentucky friends though!
Everyone had a great show day and it was nice to see such a nicely turned out group of Standardbreds.